Kevin M. Neibauer
LaxPhilly- A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network.
In the final regular season game in the ALL West for the Sea Splash and the Grizzlies, the Sea Splash (9-3) pulled off a late rally for a 15-11 defeat of the 5-7 Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies finished their season with a 2-7 record after starting 3-0.
Tyler Kirkby was named the game’s first star for the sixth time this season.
And Away We Go
In a game that witnessed seven ties, three occured in the opening half.
Mitch McDole (1g, 5 helpers) converted a set-up from Sekawnee Baker (1a) and William Van Den Hoover on the man up at 1:16.
That would be all the scoring in the opening 15:00 with the Grizzlies holding the lead
Things started to open up with James Rahe (3g, 3a) converting a Tyler Kirkby set -up to bring it to tie number one with :54 played.
:45 later, Adam Dickson (4a) and Ryan Heard (2a) did the work for a second Rahe goal.
William Van Den Hoover (1g,1a) was responsible for tie game number two converting off Jacob Patterson and Erik Maas at 11:49.
Tbe Grizzlies kept on the attack with Erik Maas (1g) and Nash Moore (1g) a minute sixteen later to seize a 4-2 edge
The Spray took the hit and counter punched with Keegan Bell (3g,, 2a) at 4:30 followed by Connor Goodwin (3g, 3a) at 4:06 to end the half with tie number three, 4-4.
The goal production continued to increase with no less than nine scores in the third.
Dickson and Bell assisted on a Rahe goal at the 9:28 mark.
Kirkby pushed it to a two goal contest when he was recipient of a pretty pass around from Goodwin and Rahe on the power play
The Grizzlies, unfazed, countered with tallies from Kieran McKay (5g) followed by Jacob Patterson (1g, 1a) and we were looking at yet another even score, 6-6.
Kirkby (4g, 2a) and McKay exchanged lamp lighters to move the score to 7-7..
Kirkby stuck again with help from, Haden Hardy (1a) and Ryan Heard (2a).
Kirkby turned play marker for Bell, making it a 9-7 Sea Splash lead.
McKay closed the third with an advantage goal with :34 left off McDole and James Baker (2a) passes.
With 15:00 to play, the Sea Splash held a 9-8 edge.
Down to the Nitty Gritty
A minute thirty in, McKay evened it for the sixth time with help McDole and James Baker
The battle was in full force with Kirkby and Andrew Joseph (1g, 1a) countering for the Grizzlies to keep it tied.
After nearly seven minutes without a goal, the Sea Splash showed why they are 9-3.
John Hofseth (1g) at 5:58, Goodwin at 5:18 and Bell at 5:03 made it three goals in fifty five seconds and a 13-10 lead.
Things called down for three minutes until Gordie Phillips (1g, 1g) pushed it 14-10.
The Grizzlies still has some fight with goaltender, Kyle Mooney starting a pretty transition that McKay benefitted from.
With :34 on the clock, Goodwin put the final nail in the Grizzlies coffin to end the entertaining 15-11 contest.
“It was a fantastic effort on our end. The Grizzlies played a solid game, but our guys – playing with 15 and missing some key guys – just everyone sucking it up, Wasn’t sure how everybody would hold up in the second half, but they kept on working and I thought we outworked” Sea Spray Head Coach, Russ Heard.
Inside the Game
Shots were, 59-54 for Grizzlies with Lee Jackman stopping 48 for the Splash
Kyle Mooney turned away 39 in defeat
• Gordy Phillips not only had a pair of points but, went 14 of 17 from the dot.
• For the Grizzlies, Andrew Robinson posted 8 of 10.
• Kyle Mooney, Grizzlies goalie, made a tremendous stop on a Kirkby penalty shot.
With the game tied at 10-10 with 7:31 to play, Kirkby looked to seize momentum but was denied.
“I went with my signature move and Mooney read me pretty good, which is kind of embarrassing, but he made the save and I give him kudos for that,” Kirkby said.
• Advantages. The Grizzlies scored on 2 of their 6 tries with the Splash going 1 of 3.
The playoffs are set with the Sea Splash facing the Black Fish and The Grizzlies tackling the Shooting Eagles.
Both contests will take place March 20 at the Langley Events Center.
Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.
Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.
A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.